Matt downloaded the entire season of Downton Abbey and our plan was to have raclette and watch a few episodes without completely bingeing. After all, if you watch it all in one day, that is 364 days you have to wait for the next season.
What is raclette? Raclette is a swiss cheese but not Swiss cheese. It is also a popular Swiss meal, custom, and winter rite. Here is how it works. You take raclette cheese and you put it under a special heater to melt it. There are actually raclette burners just for this process. Like this one:
I bought an electric raclette griddle. It is smaller and less expensive than the giant burners the Swiss use for parties.
There is something about melted cheese that excites our genes and our taste buds. Once the heat gets going, the top layer of cheese starts to melt and brown. (With my griddle, we melt chunks of cheese in little skillet like plates under a burner. Same effect. Melty oozing cheese.)
Once the cheese gets to melting, you scoop it onto a plate paired with boiled potatoes, brescaola or some other dried meat, cornichons or gherkin pickles, and pickled pearl onions. It is a real treat and we like to have it once a year, sometime in the winter when it snows.
Well, there has been snow on the ground, it has been cold, and it seems we are really having winter. So we fired up the cheese grill and poured some red wine. It was delicious. If you remind me and you visit in the winter, I’ll treat you.